Xin­jiang fast-tracks de­vel­op­ment

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS -

BEI­JING — Every evening, work­ers gather in the Shen­zhen In­dus­trial Park in Kash­gar, Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion, wait­ing for buses to take them home. Com­pa­nies based in the park, in­clud­ing elec­tronic com­po­nents mak­ers and cloth­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers, have hired more than 3,000 work­ers from nearby vil­lages and towns, mak­ing the in­dus­trial park one of the most bustling ar­eas in the re­gion.

A large num­ber of highly com­pet­i­tive com­pa­nies from out­side the re­gion have set up fac­to­ries or sub­sidiaries in Xin­jiang un­der the “pair­ing as­sis­tance” pro­gram, help­ing lo­cal res­i­dents find jobs close to their homes.

The pro­gram has al­lowed 19 prov­inces and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to of­fer fi­nan­cial and per­son­nel sup­port to re­mote Xin­jiang, build­ing new in­fra­struc­ture and fund­ing lo­cal in­dus­try.

Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion, China’s eco­nomic plan­ner, since late 2012, the coun­try’s prov­inces and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties have al­lo­cated more than 13 bil­lion yuan ($1.91 bil­lion) to pro­mote lo­cal in­dus­tries and cre­ated more than 500,000 jobs in Xin­jiang.

Thanks to sup­port from other parts of the coun­try, Xin­jiang has seen rapid eco­nomic growth in the past few years, with in­fra­struc­ture projects bring­ing the re­gion closer to the rest of China.

Ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial data, Xin­jiang’s re­gional econ­omy grew by 7.6 per­cent in 2016, 0.9 per­cent­age points above the na­tional av­er­age. Per capita dis­pos­able in­come grew 8.9 per­cent to 18,355 yuan, also faster than the na­tional rate.

By the end of 2016, the in­ci­dence of poverty in the re­gion had dropped to 10 per­cent or less, ac­cord­ing to a white pa­per is­sued by China’s State Coun­cil In­for­ma­tion Of­fice.

The fast growth was partly boosted by in­fra­struc­ture up­grades, which the re­gion’s au­thor­i­ties deemed as cru­cial for tack­ling over­ca­pac­ity, deep­en­ing sup­ply-side re­form, and sup­port­ing the Belt and Road ini­tia­tive.

Cov­er­ing an area of 1.66 mil­lion square kilo­me­ters, or about one-sixth of China’s land area, Xin­jiang is huge and its in­fra­struc­ture is still far from enough to sup­port its de­vel­op­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment work re­port is­sued ear­lier this year, Xin­jiang plans to spend over 1.5 tril­lion yuan on in­fra­struc­ture in 2017, in­clud­ing more than 200 bil­lion yuan on new roads, 34.7 bil­lion on the rail net­work, and 14.4 bil­lion to up­grade the air­port in the cap­i­tal Urumqi.

The re­gion also plans to in­vest over 227 bil­lion yuan in projects in­clud­ing wa­ter di­ver­sion, power trans­mis­sion, and cloud com­put­ing, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

The Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, aimed at build­ing a trade and in­fra­struc­ture net­work con­nect­ing Asia with Europe and Africa along the an­cient trade routes of Silk Road, has in­jected new im­pe­tus into Xin­jiang’s de­vel­op­ment.

Since the ini­tia­tive was pro­posed in 2013, Hor­gos, an old port border­ing Kaza­khstan in Xin­jiang, has seen “ex­plo­sive de­vel­op­ment,” lo­cal of­fi­cials said.

Last year, more than 2,400 com­pa­nies were reg­is­tered in Hor­gos. The city’s GDP was 5.12 bil­lion yuan in 2016, up 278 per­cent from 2015.

At the heart of the Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt, Xin­jiang is also quickly build­ing up strong in­dus­tries, in­clud­ing chem­i­cals, in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, ma­chin­ery man­u­fac­tur­ing, and tex­tiles.

in­vest­ment that Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion plans to make in in­fra­struc­ture this year

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.